African perceptions of female attractiveness

Vinet Coetzee, Stella J Faerber, Jaco M Greeff, Carmen Emilia Lefevre, Daniel Re, David Ian Perrett

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55 Citations (Scopus)
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Little is known about mate choice preferences outside Western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic societies, even though these Western populations may be particularly unrepresentative of human populations. To our knowledge, this is the first study to test which facial cues contribute to African perceptions of African female attractiveness and also the first study to test the combined role of facial adiposity, skin colour (lightness, yellowness and redness), skin homogeneity and youthfulness in the facial attractiveness preferences of any population. Results show that youthfulness, skin colour, skin homogeneity and facial adiposity significantly and independently predict attractiveness in female African faces. Younger, thinner women with a lighter, yellower skin colour and a more homogenous skin tone are considered more attractive. These findings provide a more global perspective on human mate choice and point to a universal role for these four facial cues in female facial attractiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere48116
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2012


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